GM to invest $600 million in Fairfax plant image

General Motors announced an investment of $600 million in a new paint shop and stamping press at the Kansas City assembly plant.

The Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans. According to GM, this will be the largest investment in a single plant since the company’s emergence from bankruptcy in July 2009. Construction work is scheduled to begin laters this year and will last for about two years. Production won’t be affected, GM said in a statement.

General Motors will expand the plant by about 500,000 square feet, or 15 percent, to 3.7 million square feet, accounting for a total area of about 20 Wal-Mart Supercenters. The company plans to build a 450,000 square-foot facility for the paint shop, which will feature new tools and robots aimed at reducing energy use and improving quality.

“This major investment is a vote of confidence in the employees and leadership of this plant and will allow them to continue producing beautiful, world-class vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse,” GM CEO Dan Akerson said.

GM employs 3,561 hourly and 316 salaried workers at Fairfax. Last year the plant, which was inaugurated in 1945, produced 277,454 cars on three shifts. 220,893 were Chevrolet Malibus and 56,561 were Buick LaCrosses.